Fake kidnapping leads to arrest

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A Bay Ridge 18-year-old tried to shake $22,000 out of his mother during a bogus kidnapping plot, but was arrested after cops uncovered his hare-brained ruse.

Andrew Ottieri and his friend Ahmad Faraj, 22, hatched the phony kidnapping idea on Sept. 21. They immediately called Ottieri’s mother, pretending to be the kidnappers, but didn’t get through to her right away.

Prosecutors allege that Ottieri and Faraj reached out to the 18-year-old’s mother seven times, claiming her son had been abducted and was being held at gunpoint.

Faraj, who reportedly played the role of the kidnapper, told the woman her son wouldn’t be released until she paid a $22,000 ransom.

The duo went further by claiming that the money must be dropped off at Cannonball Park on Fourth Avenue between 100th and 101st streets — about a block away from Ottieri’s house.

“Just give me the money, just give me the money,” the “kidnapper” repeated incessantly, according to court papers.

These “criminal masterminds” apparently prepared for every possible contingency, except one: the panicked mother called police.

Cops from the 68th Precinct quickly tracked the phone number to Faraj. When the money drop was supposed to take place, cops spotted Faraj and took him into custody. A few minutes later, Ottieri was in custody as well.

“When we got him, he said he was only joking with his mother, but we were taking this seriously,” said one police source. “We put in a lot of work tracking him and his partner down.”

When he was taken to the precinct, Ottieri “was crying,” the source added.

“Even the mother wanted us to let him go, but a crime had been committed,” the source said.

The crime could prove costly for Ottieri and Faraj, who are both now facing seven years in prison. Prosecutors charged them with attempted grand larceny and aggravated harassment.

Both men are currently out on bail, prosecutors said.

Calls to Yung-Ming Lee, Ottieri’s attorney, were not returned by late Tuesday.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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